Yine Yenki Nyika is Co-Founder and Mentorship Director of “GoGirls ICT Initiative”. Founded by a group of dedicated young South Sudanese women, the initiative aims to engage, educate and empower women and girls in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Yine has also involved the GoGirls in MYWorld2030, a global survey aiming to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals, map priorities among citizens, and help decision makers understand citizen perceptions and priorities.
Yine, her GoGirls team members, and a few more volunteers chose to collect survey responses and raise awareness about the SDGs among South Sudanese youth who find themselves in between school or University and work. By approaching small businesses and Boda boda motorcyclists at their stopping places along busy Juba roads, Yine and her team sought to explore what kind of lives this population group are living. They were particularly interested in the situation for young women and mothers. Founded by and working for youth, the GoGirls seeks to find ways to engage and empower young South Sudanese. Yine finds that targeting youth through the MYWorld survey provides a good starting point to better understand and develop activities for this group.
GoGirls ICT Initiative is already working for the SDGs through its focus on education, girls’ empowerment, and gender equality. Thus, the MYWorld survey feeds into their work and only represents a “different way of solving our common problems”, says Yine. She finds the interactive approach that the survey provides interesting and useful. Her experience is that “people feel important, valued and safe when reached out to, and they freely share information about their lives, challenges and future aspirations. As a result, one gets to clearly understand their problems”. Yine finds it difficult to choose one SDG of high importance to her. “I like all the 17 SDGs”, she says laughing. However, Quality Education (Goal 4) and Gender Equality (Goal 5) are of particular concern to Yine.
“Education and Gender Equality go hand in hand. Education cuts across all the SDGs, like No Poverty, Decent work and economic growth, and Gender Equality. When we say: “education for all”, this also includes the other gender which is often left out, namely the girls”.
The inclusion of girls in the education system translates into a key principle for sustainable development and the SDGs; Leaving no one behind. According to Yine, if the education system is strengthened and quality education ensured for all, illiteracy rates will decrease, and we will see progress on many SDGs in South Sudan. Pointing to the multiple challenges faced by and violations committed against women and girls in South Sudan, Yine calls for and highlights the need for establishing forums or spaces where women and girls can talk freely and speak up about issues concerning them.
What is needed in South Sudan? They share their voices for a better world.
The MYWorld2030 survey brings people’s voices into debates on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development – the Sustainable Development Goals – in South Sudan and across the World. It is one of the mechanisms through which disaggregated data is collected and analysis is enabled to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It therefore contributes to UNDP Strategic Plan outcome on advancing poverty eradication in all form and to UNDP Signature Solution of “keeping people out of poverty”. The project is financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
UNDP South Sudan, with financial support from the Government and
People of Norway, mobilized Volunteers to reach out and collect data for the
Survey. It is also one of the commitments of UNDP South Sudan to develop “tools
and country knowledge products applied to mainstream Sustainable Development Goals.
This data and
analysis is meant for multiple purposes. First, it is meant to create
opportunities for SDG engagement and awareness. Second, it is meant to monitor
which of the SDGs South Sudanese consider are of immediate concern to them and
their families. Third, it is meant to monitor perceptions of South Sudanese
overtime, across geographical areas (place), gender, and generation regarding whether
the situation is getting better, worse, or remaining the same.
Fourth, it is meant to inform public and private choices on which SDGs to invest to address the greatest concerns of the South Sudanese. Note that this will also change over time, place, gender and generation.
For instance, if people are unaware of SDGs, it is an opportunity to create awareness. In the case of South Sudan, only 45.4 percent are aware. Creating more awareness will enable South Sudanese appreciate global development discourse. At least ½ of the South Sudanese consider SDG 1 (No poverty), 3 (Good health and wellbeing), 4 (Quality Education), 5(Gender Equality), 6(Clean water and Sanitation), and 16 (Peace, Justice and strong institutions) of immediate concern to them and their families. At least ½ of the South Sudanese consider SDG 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 14 (Life below water) have become worse. These inform investment choices for the public and private sectors.
The data was collected in 2018 covering interviewing 464 males and 203 females, making a total of 667 people.
Low Awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals
Are you aware of the Sustainable Development Goals or ‘Global Goals’ signed by 193 World Leaders at the UN in September 2015? The results show that the awareness of SDGs is low (see Figure 1), with less than ½ of the respondents indicating that they are aware of the SDGs. That is true for male and females. However, slightly more than ½ of those with education level beyond secondary are aware.
Which goals are of most immediate concern?
Which six of the following Global Goals are of immediate concern to you and your family? Respondents were asked to identify six of the Global Goals that are of immediate concern to them and their family (see Figure 2). At least ½ of the respondents indicated that SDG 1 (No poverty), 3 (Good health and wellbeing), 4 (Quality Education), 5(Gender Equality), 6(Clean water and Sanitation), and 16 (Peace, Justice and strong institutions) were of immediate concern to them and their families. We do not see major differences between men and women.
Perceptions of progress on the Goals
Respondents were asked: “Would
you say the situation on your chosen Goals has got better, stayed the same or
got worse over the past twelve months?”. Respondents were of the view that At
least ½ of the South Sudanese consider SDG 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 8
(decent work and economic growth) and 14 (Life below water) have become worse. This points to areas for possible investment
by the public and private (national or international), especially in addressing
poverty, hunger and decent work.
What does this mean for the National Development Strategy of South Sudan?
The National Development Strategy
expected results and expected strategic deliverables are reproduced in Tables 1
and 2. In both instances, it is SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong
Institutions), 2 (No hunger), 3 (Health and wellbeing), 4 (Quality Education)
and 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Except for SDG 9 addressed by the National Development Strategy, the
strategy seems to address the SDGs of immediate concerns to South Sudanese and
In addition, except for SDG 8, the NDS seems to prioritize those that the South Sudanese consider having become worse in the past 12 months.
Table 1: Expected Results
SDG Related Indicator
Feel safe to go about their
SDG 16.1.4 Proportion of
population that feel safe walking alone around the area they live
% of population that report
feeling safe to go about their business
% population that feel walking
alone around the area they live
Enjoy stable prices
SDG 2.c.1 Indicator of food
Rate of inflation
Access to basic services
SDG 16.6.2 Proportion of the
population satisfied with their last experience of public services
% of population satisfied with
their last experience of public services
Expected Strategic Deliverables
SDG Related Indicator
Create enabling conditions for and facilitate
the voluntary return and integration of displaced South Sudanese
SDG 16.1.5 Total number of people displaced
internally due to conflict and violence
% of total number of people displaced internally
due to conflict and violence return
% of total number of refugees due to conflict
and violence return
Develop appropriate laws and enforce the rule of
NDS x: Proportion of people with rule of law
related grievance that receive satisfactory redress
Proportion of people with rule of law related
grievances that receive satisfactory redress
Ensure secure access to adequate and nutritious
2.4.1 Proportion of agricultural area under
productive and sustainable agriculture
Net Cereal production
Silence the guns by facilitating a permanent
cessation of hostilities
16.1.2 Conflict-related deaths per 100,000
population, by sex, age and cause
Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population
Restore and expand the provision basic services
3.1.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled
3.b.1 Proportion of the population with access
to affordable medicines and vaccines on a sustainable basis
Proportion of births attended by skilled health
Restore and expand the provision basic services
4.1.1. Proportion of children and young people
achieving at least a minimum proficiency level.
4.6.1 Percentage of population in a given age
group achieving at least a fixed level of proficiency in functional (a)
literacy and (b) numeracy skills, by sex
Proportion of children completing primary
Restore and maintain basic transport
infrastructure such as roads and bridges
SDG 9.1.1 Proportion of the rural population who
live within 2 km of an all-season road
Proportion of the rural population who live
within 2 km of an all-season road
What does this
mean for the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the
Republic of South Sudan?
The Revitalized Peace Agreement has 4 substantive chapters that
directly relate to the SDGs which have been reflected as of immediate concerns
to South Sudanese and their families and/or are considered to have worsened:
Chapter II: Permanent
ceasefire and transitional security arrangements (SDSG 16);
Chapter III: Humanitarian
assistance and reconstruction (SDG 3 & 4);
Resource, economics and financial management (SDG 8);
Transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation, and healing (SDG 16);
The other chapters are strongly linked to organization:
Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity
Parameters of Permanent Constitution
Joint Monitoring and Evaluation
Supremacy of the agreement and procedures for amendment.